Where Should Eyeliner Start?

Eyeliner can be a defining touch to your eye makeup. It can be used to make your eyes stand out and define and enhance your eye's shape. However, knowing where eyeliner should start can be tricky. Fortunately for you, we've done the research and have some suggestions for where your eyeliner should begin.

When applying eyeliner, it should start in the middle of the eyelid or at the corner. Where you start your eyeliner depends on the shape of your eye, whether you're applying eyeliner to the top or bottom portion of your eye, and your eye shape. It can also depend on the look you want to achieve. 

So we've explained a little bit about where eyeliner should start, but keep reading as we elaborate on this further. We'll discuss different looks you might want to achieve and how your eye shape might affect where your eyeliner starts. Additionally, we'll also answer some other questions you might have about applying your eyeliner. Just keep reading!

A young woman applying eyeliner makeup, Where Should Eyeliner Start?

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Where Eyeliner Starts

Eyeliner will either start at the middle or the corner of your eyelid.

The Middle

Green eyed beautiful model applying foundation with a brush

Eyeliner doesn't have to be applied to the entire length of your eyelid. There are times when it should start in the middle. If your eyes are quite close together, you can create an illusion to make them seem further apart. This can be achieved by drawing attention away from the inner corners of your eyes by applying eyeliner away from them. For the bottom lid, only line the outer quarter.

A close up of an eye of a lady

If you have small eyes, start just a little further past the middle but do not go all the way to the inner corner like in the image above. It's also better to have a smudged or blended eyeliner if you have small eyes.

The Corner

Young woman applied eyeliner

For most other looks and eye shapes, your eyeliner should start at the inner corner of your eyelid and go the entire length of the top eyelid or further to create a wing.

Where do you put eyeliner?

So we've given you some suggestions for where your eyeliner should start, but where exactly does it go? It's not actually as simple as just outlining your eye. You could do that, but you should experiment with applying eyeliner to different places. To get the most out of your look, eyeliner can be applied to both the top or bottom of your eye.

Eyeliner On Top

Woman with eyeliner and mascara

For the top of your eye, you should try to apply it as close to your lashes as possible and then increase the thickness if you wish. To create a wing, your eyeliner can extend past the outer edge of your eye.

Eyeliner On The Bottom

Woman applying eyeliner

It can be applied just below your lashes or on the waterline for the bottom of your eye. The waterline is the line of skin just above your lashes.

When applying eyeliner to the bottom, it's better to stop about a quarter of the way from the inside corner of your eye if you want a more natural look. For a dramatic or smokey eye, add eyeliner all the way across.

For more reading about which eyeliner can be used on your waterline, check out this post here: Can You Use Liquid Eyeliner On Your Waterline?

Is eyeliner better on the top or bottom?

There's not really a set answer to this question because whether you apply eyeliner to the top, bottom, or both depends on the look you want to achieve.

Just The Top

There are a few reasons you might choose to apply eyeliner to the top and not the bottom. Eyeliner is more likely to run and smudge on the bottom and can leave you looking a little raccoon-ish if you're not careful. Aside from smudging problems, leaving the bottom eyeliner off can give the appearance of bigger eyes.

Sometimes having bottom eyeliner and top eyeliner can look too heavy for daytime wear, and choosing between one or the other can lighten up your look a lot more.

Just The Bottom

Having eyeliner on just the bottom is great if you want to draw attention to your eye but struggle to get the top eyeliner on right. Let's face it, sometimes applying eyeliner to the top successfully can take a lot of practice. Just make sure to use a color that isn't too dark, or it could make your eyes seem heavy and tired.  Also, while leaving the bottom eyeliner off can give the appearance of bigger eyes, adding eyeliner to the bottom can make them appear smaller.


Applying eyeliner to both the top and bottom is the way to go for a night out. It draws attention to your eyes and makes them pop. Make the lines thicker for a goth look. For a less noticeable look but for a way to frame the eye, try using a thicker line of eyeliner on top or a lighter color on the bottom.

If you like the look of bottom eyeliner, but you're tired of it always smudging, this post might be able to help: 9 Ways To Keep Bottom Eyeliner From Smudging.

What is the easiest eyeliner to apply?

If you're a beginner at applying eyeliner, you should always opt for a pencil eyeliner. A pencil is the easiest eyeliner to apply. Other eyeliners like liquid or gel can smudge easily, and it's easy to apply too much. With a pencil, it's easier to handle and harder to make mistakes.

However, if you prefer the look that liquid gel eyeliner gives, choose a liquid eyeliner pen instead of one that uses an applicator brush.

Click here to see Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer on Amazon.

How do you apply eyeliner perfectly?

Vector illustration of woman make up

Applying eyeliner can be tricky. All it takes is one slip, and you can end up looking like a raccoon or a panda. Fortunately, some tips do exist to help you apply eyeliner perfectly.


First, if you're using a pencil eyeliner, make sure it is nice and sharp. This will help you apply a more precise line to your eye. Second, you should prep your eye to apply makeup. Make sure your eyelid is clean, and apply a primer and concealer. This will help keep your eye makeup smooth and in place.

Apply It Thin To Begin

For the actual application of the eyeliner, regardless of the type of eyeliner you are using, start with a very thin line of eyeliner just above your lashes. Though you might be tempted to begin in the corner of your eye, it can be more difficult to get a consistent look on both eyes this way.

Begin In The Middle Unless You Want A Wing

Start at the middle of your eyelid and gently work your way out to the outer edge with light strokes. If you want your eyeliner to go to the inside corner of your eye, go back and fill in the rest. The only exception to this is if you want a 'winged' look. Keep your eyes open and begin by drawing your wing.

Though this YouTube video demonstrates applying liquid eyeliner, it's a great way to see how, to begin with, the wing.

Don't Pull Your Skin Tight

Don't pull your skin tight when you apply eyeliner. Though you might think it will give you a smoother line, it'll actually have the opposite effect. Relax your eye as much as possible and use your other hand to steady the skin rather than pull it tight.

If you're still a little unsure about applying eyeliner, check out our other blog post here for some other tricks and tips: How To Put Eyeliner On Top Lid In 4 Easy Steps.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, our article has helped you understand where eyeliner should start depending on the look you want to achieve. Don't be afraid to experiment with starting in different places, though. You can always wipe it off if you don't like the look. Who knows, you might discover a style that gives your eyes the 'WOW' factor!

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